Wednesday 4 February 2009

Gaza meeting

The Palestinian and Lebanese Leftist Youth Groups

Invite you to a public meeting with Comrade Marwan Abdel Al, a leadership member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) On the current political situation in Gaza, the resistance and the negotiations, and the PFLP position.

Thursday February 5th, 2009, In the Martyr Abu Ali Mustapha hall, Mar Elias camp, Beirut @ 5,30 pm

Tuesday 3 February 2009

My speech for Gaza at the London rally

My speech for Gaza at the London rally can be found at solomonsmindfield's blog

Sunday 1 February 2009

French cops

Had to run this story from the AFP...

For French policemen trying to help their Lebanese counterparts bring Beirut's notoriously undisciplined drivers under control, the gestures of the local officers are a source of wry amusement.

"The traffic policemen in Beirut have their own specific gestures: they make small motions with their hands while saying, "yalla! yalla!" (go ahead! go ahead! in Arabic)," says Dominique Szymczak, a police brigadier from Paris's 13th arrondissement.

He takes his Lebanese colleague into the middle of a busy intersection to demonstrate how traffic control is carried out Paris-style.

"It is better to make bold gestures and to stand with feet together and hand raised," says Szymczak, dressed in smart uniform, peaked cap and immaculate white gloves.

Szymczak is one of six officers who have been in Beirut for the past two weeks as part of a cooperation project between the French and Lebanese interior ministries to help improve the flow of traffic through Beirut's heavily congested streets.

He is so absorbed in his mission that he forgets his French. "Come on, come on," he yells at the drivers, waving his arms vigorously.

Now it is he who has become the source of amusement -- especially for the drivers who find his antics hilarious.

Despite Lebanon being a small country of only four million people, its accident rate is among the highest in the world, with around 500 motorists killed and more than 6,000 injured each year, according to police figures.

One police officer orders a motorist to move his vehicle out of the way because it is causing an obstruction.
"You must obey the rules from now on," he tells the driver, smiling broadly.

"Ok, ok," responds the driver, flailing his arms in protest but eventually complying with the order.

"Here we drive as if we are crazy. Everyone does what he wants. Hopefully in time the Lebanese will become more disciplined," says another driver, even as the hooting of cars stacked up behind him reaches a new crescendo.